City Motors signs management agreement with InterContinental Hotels

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on May 6, 2019 - May 12, 2019.

From right: City Motors director Eddie Tan, Foo, Lim and IHG area general manager (Malaysia) Steven Greenwood at the signing ceremony. Picture by City Motors Group

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City Motors Group signed a management agreement with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) on April 24 to operate an upper mid-scale hotel that will be part of City Motors’ upcoming RM500 million mixed-use development in Bangsar.

Tentatively named Alfa Tower and expected to be completed in 2022, the 46-storey tower development will comprise the IHG-managed hotel Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Bangsar, high-end serviced apartments as well as a commercial podium.

The hotel will have 220 rooms, six meeting rooms and an 800-pax banquet hall.

City Motors chairman Datuk Foo Wan Kien signed the agreement on behalf of City Motors while IHG was represented by Serena Lim, vice-present of development in Southeast Asia and Korea.

Foo said in a press release that the agreement marked the group’s initiative to establish a firm foothold in the local hospitality scene.

“This latest move will consolidate the group’s diversification plan to secure sustained recurring revenue.”

He added that IHG is one of the world’s largest hotel companies and linking up with the hotel chain is the right decision.

“I realised that there are few, if not no, branded hotels with a Bangsar address though it is an affluent enclave and felt it is important to introduce an internationally branded hotel to the area for people to meet.

Lim said Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Bangsar will be the fourth IHG property in Kuala Lumpur and is poised to become a flagship for the Holiday Inn brand in Malaysia.

“Whether staying for business or for leisure, the hotel will offer guests an unparalleled experience at the centre of one of Malaysia’s most fashionable districts, just minutes from key transport hubs such as KL Sentral,” she said.

Apart from Alfa Tower, Foo revealed that the group is developing a 56-storey tower hotel and suites in the prime Bukit Bintang location, which will be turned into another high-end hotel in the near future.

The developments in Bangsar and Bukit Bintang are on the sites of former City Motors showrooms for Alfa Romeo cars.

City Motors will move its headquarters in the near future to the upcoming Alfa Tower, with a showroom to showcase the vintage Alfa Romeo GTA.

“The zest and zeal I put into the motor franchise, making Alfa Romeo the best-selling car for almost two decades, is alive and will help in the group’s thrust into the hospitality scene,” Foo said.

City Motors, established in 1965, is a conglomerate with businesses in property development, plantations and aquaculture.

It was once the sole distributor of Alfa Romeo in Malaysia and carved out a significant market share. It discontinued its two-decade distributorship of the Italian marque in the late 1980s.

For the past 30 years, the group’s primary focus has been on property development, with projects in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Singapore and Hong Kong.